In Fisher v. University of Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a decades-old principle that colleges and universities may use race-conscious affirmative-action plans in order to enroll a diverse student body. To consider race in admissions, however, institutions must prove to courts that race-neutral alternatives—such as relying on socioeconomic status or where students live—will not work. In the court's words, colleges must prove that "no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity." Most commentators greeted Fisher with a yawn, or a sigh of relief or disappointment, concluding that the court had changed very little.

Thomas J. Kane & James E. Ryan, Why “Fisher” Means More Work for Colleges, Chronicle of Higher Education A56 (August 2, 2013).